This report provides an update on the status of proposed major transit investment projects ("new starts") that have recently completed the alternatives analysis or preliminary engineering stage of development. Under 49 U.S.C. §5309(o)(2), the U.S. Department of Transportation is required to prepare in August of each year a "Supplemental Report on New Starts" to Congress that describes the evaluation and rating for each proposed new starts project that has completed alternatives analysis or preliminary engineering since the date of the last Annual Report on New Starts (as required under 49 U.S.C. §5309(o)(1)). Twelve proposed projects meet this requirement and are included in this report; five have completed preliminary engineering and seven have completed alternatives analysis. In addition, this report also includes project evaluation and rating information for one project with prior preliminary engineering approval, for which this information was unavailable for inclusion in the Annual Report.
The purpose of the Supplemental Report on New Starts is to update project-specific information for a select number of proposed new starts projects, as required by statute. It does not include updated information for all proposed projects. Unlike the Annual Report, this Report is not a budgetary document. It is meant to be a constructive element in the administration of the Federal transit assistance program, enriching the information exchange between the Executive and Legislative branches.
The New Starts Project Evaluation Regulation
On December 7, 2000, FTA issued its Final Rule on new starts project evaluation and rating, published in the Federal Register at 65 FR 76864. This regulation is required by Section 3009 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), and governs how FTA will evaluate and rate new fixed-guideway transit systems and extensions that are proposed for §5309 new starts funding. It replaces the procedures set forth in the December 19, 1996 policy statement [61 FR 67093], as amended on November 12, 1997 [62 FR 60756]. The regulation became effective on April 6, 2001.1
FTA has been working to develop guidance for project sponsors regarding the implementation of the new starts project evaluation regulation, and has held numerous outreach sessions and workshops for transit operators and State and local government entities involved in new starts project development. For that reason, and because this Supplemental Report on New Starts is intended as an update of project evaluation information contained in the Annual Report on New Starts for those proposed projects that have advanced in the development stages, the information contained in this Report retains the same evaluation criteria and measures. Proposed projects will be evaluated under the procedures set forth in the FTA regulation for the FY 2003 budget recommendations, and reported in the 2002 edition of both the Annual and Supplemental reports.
1 In accordance with the memorandum of January 20, 2001 from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff entitled "Regulatory Review Plan," published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2001, FTA delayed the effective date of this Rule until April 6, 2001. A Notice to this effect was published in the FederalRegister on February 9, 2001, at 66 FR 9677. The original effective date was February 5, 2001.